Get to Know ME with Mark Houska

Motivation Excellence

We love getting to know our coworkers a bit better and sharing what we learn with you! In this month’s edition of Get to Know ME, we learn about a new member of our Sales Team, Mark Houska. He’s from a large family and loves to explore the world! Read on, and watch his video, to get to know all about his varied special talents and interests – if you’re putting a team of any kind together, he’s your man! Especially if it’s for a geography bee. 

What’s your title and how long have you been in the incentive industry and at Motivation Excellence?

I’m a Strategic Account Director at Motivation Excellence. I just joined the company in January 2022.

I started in the travel industry as a travel director out of college 30+ years ago and joined the incentive industry shortly after.

What does your job entail?

My key responsibilities include building new business relationships on behalf of Motivation Excellence. We uncover and develop mutually beneficial relationships across various industries, including automotive, insurance/finance, building/construction, manufacturing, and distribution.  I work with prospects/clients on a strategic level to understand needs to engage their key audience and how performance can be improved with their employees, business partners, and customers.  I also consult on how we can bring our services and expertise forward to drive sales/market share, improve service levels, and build loyalty and long-term relationships. 

What’s something special about the people you work with you’d like to share?

Motivation Excellence possesses all the tools to work with our clients across their spectrum of people relationships.  Our team has a full understanding of how we can bring our resources to bear to design truly excellent programs.  Starting with leadership, everyone is so collaborative in understanding the larger strategy with each account and their role in delivering down, to the last detail.  It’s a full team effort – from concept to operation – that I love to be part of.

What’s an unknown or odd talent you have?

Well, there are a few.  Here’s one… I started stand-up paddleboarding several years back and have taken it from a talent/hobby to a means of exploration.  I’ve paddled hundreds of miles of coastline and waterways in 2 oceans, 20+ rivers, and multiple lakes.  

What motivates you to accomplish things in your life (work or personal)?

My family is the center of everything I do.  My wife and I have 4 kids, 7 dogs, and 1 bearded dragon between us.  Plus, we enjoy a large extended family; we’re both from families of 7 kids.  That’s motivation enough!  I also like to use my talents towards team & individual sports, coaching, exploration, learning new things, and continuous improvement, both personal and professional.  Our industry and my profession mesh well with my values and interests.  The more successful I am, the more fulfilling life is for myself and my loved ones.  They go hand in hand.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’ve mentioned a few.  Focus on family stuff, also travel, sports, yard/home projects, gardening, cooking, music, and dancing.  That covers a lot.

One thing that always makes you laugh is?

Our crazy dogs.

What have you done that helped you get through the pandemic?

More focus on family and home life, with kids moving back home to study virtually, etc.  We started caregiving for my mother-in-law at the start of the pandemic, she is still living at home with us.  Also took up golf and put in a large vegetable garden.

What is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?

Travel director for sure.  On top of travel to 35+ countries, the people stories are the most unusual.

This month, our theme for social media is about company culture. What are the most important things to you when talking about a company’s culture? 

Customer-focused, company values based on respect and collaboration.  Growth-oriented and innovative.  Always looking to improve and adjust in these changing times – individually and as a team.